State VA Benefits


Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 197, 197, 198; Minnesota Rules 9050. 
The Department of Veterans Affairs assists Minnesota's 500,000 veterans and their 
dependents to obtain the benefits and services provided by the United States Department of 
Veterans Affairs, formerly called the Veterans Administration.

PLEASE NOTE: No fee is charged for any service provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, except as specifically noted.  The primary source of contact for all veterans benefits and services is the County Veterans Service Officer. County Veterans Service Officers are located in each of Minnesota's counties 
and can be contacted through the Government Section of a telephone Book. 

Administrative Services/Financial Management This division is responsible for the financial management, personnel and information systems of the department. The financial management division coordinates the annual and biennial budgets, monitors monthly expenditures and purchases, and coordinates inventory control. The personnel unit is responsible for recruitment, hiring, and staff development. Information systems coordinates all computer operations. 

Bronze Star Grave Markers 
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs supplies bronze stars to mark the grave of a veteran who is buried in any cemetery in the state that allows placement of this type of marker. The marker may be issued for a veteran whose military service terminated honorably. Markers are furnished to mark the graves of veterans who died during the current application period.

The bronze star grave marker is free of charge and may be requested in writing by the County Veterans Service Officer, a congressionally chartered veterans organization or a family member of a deceased veteran. Although the Department of Veterans Affairs delivers markers ordered by County Veterans Service Officers at the department's annual fall conference, orders are accepted year-round and should include the following information:

Full name of deceased veteran. 
Branch of service. 
Type of discharge. 
A copy of the Death Certificate or a published obituary notice. 
The name and location (city and county) of the cemetery. 

Bronze star markers will be distributed prior to Memorial Day.

Point of contact: 
Pine County Veterans Services 
1602 Hwy 23 North Sandstone, MN 55072

Phone # 320-216-4250 1-800-450-7463 ext. 4250

Claims Division 
The claims division represents veterans and their dependents who seek benefits from the United States of Veterans Affairs involving compensation, pension, insurance or educational benefits and other veterans benefits.

Eligibility Criteria: Veteran or dependent of a veteran. Member in a veterans organization IS NOT REQUIRED for assistance from this division.

Primary Point of Contact: County Veterans Service Officer 

Guardianship Division 
The Commissioner of Veterans Affairs serves as fiscal guardian of the estates of incompetent veterans through appointment of various probate courts in Minnesota, as well as by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The guardianship section makes application for all benefits on behalf of the incompetent veterans and manages the veteran's estate to ensure that funds are utilized to provide food, shelter, medical treatments and other requirements.

A fee of up to five percent of the monthly balance in a guardianship account may be charged for these services. Charges are levied only on those accounts with resources sufficient to ensure that the fee charged does not create a financial hardship on the individual. 

Military Records 
The benefits division maintains copies of only those veterans' military discharge records which have been received in conjunction with applications for various benefits. Records on all veterans are not available through this office. To obtain a copy of a military discharge record contact: County Veterans Service Officer 

State Soldier Assistance Program 
Dental Program 
Provides dental care to eligible veterans and their dependents. The maximum amount of assistance is $1,000 per eligible family member, per calendar year (from exam date) for basic dental services. Pre-authorization is required for additional lifetime benefits of up to $2,000 for extractions (if the client is preparing for dentures) and for dentures up to $3,000. Eligibility is determined by the applicants income & assets, as determined by the Schedule of Allowances. Applicants do not need to be disabled to qualify for this program.

Optical Program 
Provides basic optical care such as eye examinations and prescription eyewear. The total program benefit is limited to $400 per eligible family member, per calendar year. Any costs that exceed this amount are borne by the applicant. Eligibility is determined by the applicant’s income and assets, as determined by the Schedule of Allowances. Applicants do not need to be disabled to qualify for this program.

Subsistence Program 
Is intended to provide temporary financial assistance for personal needs such as shelter, current utilities, and health insurance premiums to veterans and their dependents, during a period when a veteran is too disabled to work at their normal occupation for a minimum of 30 days.

Eligibility Criteria: The veteran applicant must be temporarily disabled to the extent that employment in their normal occupation is not possible, for a minimum of 30 days. A current medical report is required. The veteran must be a Minnesota resident and meet income & asset guidelines.

Veterans Preference in Employment/Dismissal 
Veterans with questions regarding either hiring or dismissal in the public sector should contact this division of the department for assistance.

Primary Point of Contact: County Veterans Service Officer 

Veteran's Education Benefits 
The Veteran's Education Benefits is a one-time grant of $750 for veterans who meet the eligibility criteria. The $750 grant is to be used for tuition only. This grant may be used only at accredited institutions of higher education that are located in Minnesota.

Eligibility Criteria: Must be a veteran as defined by Minnesota Statute 197.447. Must have been a resident of Minnesota at the time of entering active duty and for six months immediately prior to entering active duty. Must have exhausted their federal educational benefits through use.

Primary Point of Contact: County Veterans Service Officer 

War Orphan Education Program 
Only Minnesota Residents Are Eligible For This Program!

This program serves children of Minnesota veterans who died while on active duty military service or as a result of injuries or disease incurred while on active duty military service. Children are eligible for "tuition free status" at any state college level institution and beginning fall semester 2006 at the University of Minnesota until a bachelor's degree (or equivalent degree) has been obtained. In addition, a specified amount per year is available for school related expenses. Note: Free tuition does not apply to private colleges or universities.

Eligibility Criteria: The deceased veteran parent must have been a resident at the time of entry into active duty military service and the dependent child must have been a resident for two years immediately prior to application.

Primary point of contact: County Veterans Service Officer 

State of MN WWII Memorial website